Athletes have every right to challenge the questions and assertions of media members, just as it’s our job to ask tough questions and seek out truths.
But threatening to ruin a journalist’s job, as Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman did on Tuesday, is crossing the line. That’s what Sherman said he would do after a media member asked him about some of his critical comments about the Seahawks’ play calling. If the shoe was on the other foot, and if Jim Moore of Seattle’s ESPN 710 Radio — with whom Sherman sparred verbally — threatened to ruin Sherman’s career there would be rightful outrage there too.
Here’s how the exchange went: Moore asked Sherman about his calling out the Seahawks’ play call of throwing the ball from the Los Angeles 1-yard line on Thursday — a situation that bore resemblance to the Seahawks’ failed Super Bowl play against the New England Patriots. That’s when the Sherman-Moore chat got off track.
Sherman: “No, we’ve just had a prior experience so we talked about it. But let me guess, you have a better play call. Let me guess, you have better experience.”
Moore: “No, I don’t have better experience.”
Sherman: “Then you should probably, you know, stop.”
It appeared over at that point. But after Sherman’s press conference, Sherman went back after Moore.
Sherman: “You don’t want to go there. You do not. I’ll ruin your career.”
Moore: “You’ll ruin my career?”
Sherman: “Yes. Yes, I will.”
Moore: “How are you going to do that?”
Sherman: “I’ll make sure you don’t get your media pass anymore.”
Moore: “Oh, is that right?”
Sherman: “Yes. Yes it is.”
The second part is where it got out of hand. Sherman could have dealt with things better and pulled Moore to the side to explain his point of view. He realized he was wrong, or was prompted by the team and Sherman issued an apology on Twitter.
I appreciate the role the media plays and they have a tough job. I let it get personal today and I regret that. Next one should be fun
— Richard Sherman (@RSherman_25) December 21, 2016
He also made light of his threatening to have Moore’s credentials removed.
Pete obviously would be Pete Carroll.
Look, this wasn’t the biggest deal ever, but Sherman crossed the line twice — once with his coaches when he called out offensive play calling and then again when he went after a media member. It’s a slippery slope there, and though Sherman has built up a lot of cred in Seattle he also threatens to undermine things with the team if he crosses the line further.
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